Majestic, marvelous and sacred... the lakes of Nepal are revered not only for their natural beauty but also for the spiritual importance attached to them. There are around two hundred lakes in Nepal of glacial and tectonic origin. Mountain lakes like Rara, Phoksundo and Phewa are majestic in extent and beauty.
Lake Category Location Water Surface Area (hct)
Rara Tal Mountain Lake Mugu District 1000
Phewa Tal Mid-hill lake Pokhara 523
GosikundaTal Mountain lake Himal region -
Pokshundu Tal Montain Lake Dopla District 180
Pride of Pokhara
Boat trip in the lovely Phewa Lake is the foremost attraction of Pokhara. Paddling out into the middle of the lake is a nice way to spend a quiet afternoon. Phewa Lake is the largest lake in Pokhara valley and the second largest lake in Nepal. Encircled by Sarangkot and Kaskikot hills, the lake holds a pagoda-style temple. Another attraction is the reflection of Mount Machhapuchhre and Annapurna range on the crystal clear water of the lake. While boating in Phewa Lake, you can see several varieties of fish.
Significance Second largest lake in Nepal
Major Attraction Island Temple in the mid of the Lake
Famous For Boating
Tourist can hire a boat and sail or row it in the lake. They can use it for travelling to the Island temple in its middle. Phewa is the second largest lake in Nepal measuring 105m by 4 km. It is the largest and most enchanting of the three lakes that add to the attraction of Pokhara, the resort town. The eastern shore is preferred as home base by the travelers. It is popularly known as Baidam. Most hotels, restaurants and handicraft shops are located in this part.
Barahi Bhagwati Temple
The Barahi Temple is the most important religious monument in resort town Pokhara. Erected in the Center of Phewa Lake, this two-storied pagoda is dedicated to Varahi, the Hindu god Vishnu’s third incarnation in the form of a wild boar. The faithful can be seen, especially on Saturdays, carrying animals and fowl across the lake. It is believed that sacrifice to the deity bring good luck.
The eastern banks of Phewa Lake, known as Lakeside or Baidam, have seemingly endless strip of hotels, lodges, restaurants, bookshops and souvenir shops. It is a popular travel stop. It is also the starting point to the adventurous expedition to Pundi.
Shrinking of Phewa
Phewa originally used to cover an area of 9 sq. km but now has been reduced to 4.43 sq. km. Geologically the rocks of either side of Phewa are slate and quartzite and make anticline structure along the axis of the lake.
The Blue Nymph
When looked from a distance, Rara Lake looks like a blue nymph, indulged in romance with mountains. The lake is neighbored by tall trees on three sides and High Mountain peaks on the fourth. Rara Lake is located in the remote Karnali zone in the north-west region of Nepal. The region is known for long ridges covered with temperate forests and alpine pastures enclosing high valleys. Such landscape make Rara lake region good for trekking.
Location Karnali region, North-West of Nepal
Significance Largest Lake in Nepal
Length 2980 m
Best Season to Visit Spring & autumn
Entry and Exit Point Jumla
Expedition to Rara Lake
Summers are nice for trekking in Rara Lake for the region is free from monsoon thunder storms to large extent in the season. Winters are cold, but in autumn, trekking is rewarded with a profusion of alpine flowers. Rainfall is low in summer, but snow can be heavy and persistent in summers. Cited below is a possible trek to the harmonious Rara Lake:
Rara National Park
Adjoining the Rara Lake is the Rara National Park, where animals like Himalayan black bear and Red Panda reside. The trek to Rara National Park brings delight for botanists, nature-lovers and bird watchers. One can explore incredibly diverse Himalayan vegetation and observe different kinds of birds and wild animals.
Trek to Rara Lake brings joy for those who are fond of passing some time in recluse in the lap of nature. Karnali region where the lake is located is one of the remotest in Nepal, letting the visitors find some time in tranquility. Following are the fine points of the trek to Rara Lake.
Exploring serene Rara Lake
Unravelling the Rara National Park
Stunning Himalayan panorama
Exploring typical village people and their rustic way of life
The Sacred Lake
Phoksundo Lake, the deepest lake in Nepal, offers stunning beauty. Considered sacrosanct by the Dolpa locals, it is praised for its aquamarine greenish blue color. No aquatic life in the lake pronounces that the water is crystal clear. Called by the seasoned travelers the jewel of Dolpo, Phoksundo Lake gives refreshing experience to the eyes. Ringed by tall snow-capped mountains, view of Phoksundo Lake is an extremely satisfying experience.
Location Lower Dolpa Region
Significance Deepest Lake in the Himalayan Region
Depth 650 m
Known for Aquamarine greenish color
Shey Phoksundo National Park
Shey-Phoksundo National Park is situated in the mountain region of Western Nepal near the Phoksundo Lake covering parts of Dolpa and Mugu Districts. Gazetted in 1984, it is the largest national park in the country with an area of 3,555 sq. km. The main objectives of the park are to preserve the unique Himalayan ecosystem with its typical Tibetan type of flora and fauna, and to protect endangered species such as the snow leopard and musk deer.
The holy Phoksundo Lake flows with full vigor amidst the Himalayan Mountains. The view of Himalayas add to the beauty of the lake. Cited below are some of the highlights of Phoksundo Lake and its adjoining areas.
Magnificent views of great Himalayan peaks
Large numbers of ancient monasteries
Different communities like Bon and Buddhists
The crystal clear Phoksundo Lake
Dolpo, a remote area, is located in the north east part of Nepal. The timeworn place has had close relations with Tibet. Trekkers were allowed to Dolpo as late as 1990. However, to remain far from the limelight has its own benefits. Dolpo has been able to preserve its wonderful beauty. Trekkers can soak in the wonderful scenic view of Phoksundo Lake, and, at the same time, enjoy the intriguing culture of Ringmo village which is a mix of Nepalese and Tibetan influences. Monsoon in Dolpo region is interrupted by the Dhaulagiri range. This means that trekking can only be done in summer season.
It is a lake with a Buddhist legend and therefore swimming and bathing is prohibited.
The water of the lake is devoid of any aquatic life and so the lake is absolutely pure.
Only a few migrating birds visit the lake.
Other Popular Lakes in Nepal
Mid-hill Lakes Low Land Lakes
Begnas Tal Rupa Tal
Rupa Tal Gadhbhijala Tal
Deepang Tal Nakhrodi Tal
Khaste Tal Badhaiya Tal
Maidee Tal Sakhunia Tal
Syarpu Tal Budhi Tal
Rokum Tal Gaindhawa Tal
Mahadev Tal Beesh Hazar Tal
Kailali Halkhoria Tal
Nepal lakes are famous for their crystal clear water, scenic backgrounds and the adventure activities that they offer. Cited below are two of the activities that keep you fresh and vigorous like the blue waters of the lakes themselves.
The pleasure of touching water waves while sitting on a boat cannot be described in words. A relaxing boat drive on Phewa Lake of Pokhara is one of the most soothing experiences in Nepal. Leisure boating can be done in various locations. Pokhara, set in a lush topical alley, with a backdrop of the Annapurna range, is blessed with many lakes and is the most famous spot for boating activities.
The Phewa, Begnas and Rupa lakes provide enough space for boating experiences. Phewa Lake is Pokhara’s prime attraction for photographers, boaters and shore side strollers. Visitors love sending an hour or two rowing (or being rowed by one of the local boats men) through the many inlets, with a visit to the Varahi island temple.
Nepal, the world’s second rich country in the water resources having numbers of rivers and lakes, is an ideal location for fishing and angling. There are some specific ethnic group in the hills and Terai region of Nepal whose lifestyle has been based on Fishing. Bote, Majhi, Tharu and Machhuwar are some of them.
With approximately 118 varieties of fresh water fish found in the Himalayan waters of Nepal, fishing can be really exciting. Mahseer is the most commonly sought sport fish, besides mountain stream trout-like varieties and lowland water species. Pokhara’s crystal clear lakes are the best for fishing.
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